New Zealand youth rugby team heading to Kids' Rugby World Cup

An under-12 boys' rugby team has just found out they are the only team from New Zealand to make it to the Kids' Rugby World Cup in Japan in April.

They'll play eight other countries at the same spot the World Cup is being held - and to say they're excited is a massive understatement.

They're just doing what they love most - playing rugby with their mates.

But soon they're going to be thrust onto the world rugby stage after finding out they're off to the Kids World Rugby Festival in Japan.

"I just said to my dad 'you're joking!' and he said, 'no you're going to Japan to play rugby' and I was super hyped," rugby player Koby Harwood says.

Even the coach says it's a bucket list item ticked for him. His son is in the team, also.

"Oh yeah, I said to my wife that's my ticked-off box," Tere Ngariki says.

Former All Black Matt Todd, who also plays in Japan, came along to the team's first training on Sunday to help the boys and give them a steer.

"I didn't really know he was coming and then I saw him show up and I was like, whoa," player Reuben Ngariki says.

Teams from Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Samoa, Tonga, USA, England and New Zealand will take part in nine-aside games.

And what are they most excited about heading to Japan?

"Playing rugby against all the other teams over there - and maybe some sushi," says player Koby Harwood.

They'll be needing it as fuel for the biggest games of their lives so far.

The team also needs to raise $35,000 to help pay for the trip and are setting up a Givealittle page.